With so many headphones flooding the market, it's easy for a new company to get lost in the deluge. However, 3D Sound Labs may have found the winning formula with its Neoh (pronounced neo) Headphones. Billed as the world's first smart audio headphones, the company claims that these circumaural cans have the ability to deliver 3D audio that's comparable to a home audio system.
My first impression of the Neohs is that they're a snazzy looking set of modern, industrial cans. The padded headband has a sumptuous black soft-touch finish, which extends down to the silver metal arm supporting the earcups. The cups' exterior also features the black soft touch finish, complete with a broad strip of metal engraved with the word Neoh in the middle.
When I put the Neoh's on, my ears were immediately engulfed by soft foam wrapped in a black leather-like material. The headphones felt tight around my temples initially, but a quick adjustment alleviated the pressure.
Utilizing head tracking sensors with its proprietary 360-degree sound technology and algorithms, the Neoh headphones can detect the slightest head movement and adjust accordingly. I demoed the product watching a clip from an action movie.
Moving my head to the left shifted all the audio to that side, and turning my head to the right produced the opposite effect. In practice, it sounded as if I was perfectly positioned in the middle of a powerful surround sound home audio system. As fun as this effect is, like a home theater system, the Neohs are best used indoors.
The headphones managed to deliver clear and fairly deep audio during my demo, including thunderous explosions and punchy gunfire. The earcups' cushy padding kept the noise of the CES 2015 floor at bay.
Since the Neoh headphones are currently a Kickstarter campaign, the company has an estimated ship date of spring 2015. In terms of pricing, 3D Sound Labs is hoping to sell the Neohs for approximately $229.
The Neoh headphones are a novel way to experience headphone audio, delivering an experience you'd expect to hear in a movie theater or a professional home audio system. While its fun wearing the headphones to listen to movies, I would love to see the Neohs paired with a virtual reality headset. The 3D spatial effect could potentially enhance the feeling of total immersion VR fans are searching for.
Sherri L. Smith is a Senior Writer at Tom's Guide. When she's not testing out the latest headphones and speakers, you'll find her gaming on her Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PC. Follow Sherri at @misssmith11. Follow us @TomsGuide and on Facebook.